My previous post, about the proliferation of Jubilees in the Leeds area, drew a number of comments, one of which was, ‘how did they compare with the Black 5s’. Today I had a flick through the latest Steam Railway, whilst standing in the supermarket, and in the Main Line running feature, Lo’ and behold, was an article on No.45699 Galatea. I didn’t get chance to read the article, save that it mentioned that No.45699 Galatea had put in an epic performance and the engine she was being compared against wasn’t the Black 5 but a ‘Scot’.
My own work on the Jubilees is such that making a real comparison with the Black 5 is a little unfair. A dozen runs and half of them I was only riding out, while I was still just a cleaner, isn’t exactly ‘experience’. The longest trip I made on one was from Wakefield to Blackpool and back There were crews, at Farnley Jct, who often commented they’d as soon have a Black 5 as a Jubilee. Having only been a fireman all I can say is that the Black 5 was a more forgiving engine. The Jubilees needed more careful firing, if you got too much fire down the front, under the brick arch, they would go sick on you. And trying to use fire irons, keeping them within the confines of the cab, when you’re on the move, is a risky and tricky business.
When first introduced the Jubilees did have a reputation as indifferent performers; and the level of superheating was considered the culprit. Time and energy was put into improving their performance and, in 1937, No.(4)5684 Jutland was fitted with a Kylchap double-chimney and blast pipe Despite improvements in coal consumption, it was remved after a year. Several others were fitted with a standard double-chimney only to have them later removed, a few did keep them though including the preserved No.45596 Bahamas. However, it was changes to the chimney and blast pipe which were, eventually, credited with improving their steaming capabilities.
And you don’t create epic runs if you’re short of steam.
The photo shows Ex-LMS Jubilee No.(4)5690 Leander pulling away from Loughborough Central Station, on the GCR, with a TPO recreation.
If you have enjoyed my blogs – I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751